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HA 620 Healthcare Capstone Seminar: Current issues in Healthcare
Fontaine, Sherry

Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


HA 620 Healthcare Capstone Seminar: Current issues in Healthcare


S1P 2007 DL


Fontaine, Sherry


Associate Professor



Office Location


Office Hours

Hours By Appointment

Daytime Phone

(816) 586-6452

Other Phone

(816) 842-6182  ext. 5537


Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



No text is required. Journal articles, reports, and other research will be provided during the course and will be required reading. Students will also be required to review and report upon journal articles that students find during internet/library research and these articles can also serve as general background reading. A literature search will be required later in the course on the specific trend, problem, or issue selected for analysis by individual students. Students will be required to be familiar with contemporary issues and reports. The instructor will facilitate students finding relevant reports as needed and provide links to newsletters and other professional resources.

Additional Resources:

The electronic databases offered by the Park University Library are excellent resources for locating journal articles. To access the databases: click on Library under Academics (on the menu located on the left-hand side) on the Park University Main web page. Click on electronic databases .

I prefer to use EBSCOhost web (click on the database you prefer)
If using EBSCOhost web, click on Academic Search Elite
Choose FULL TEXT to see the actual article
The database has numerous other health-related publications that you will be able to access in the course of your research.

Below are some additional resources:
Health Care Newsletters (Free) Useful references. You may want to subscribe.
Knowledge Management: Wharton School of Business - Health Leaders Daily News: , WorkPlace Xpert: HR and Training Newsletter: Health Care Continuous Improvement: To subscribe to Continuous Improvement (free of charge), or to remove yourself from the subscription list, click here.
American Hospital Association Daily News:
Health Connections: Several Newsletter Options -
Health Data Management Weekly:
NAPS Abstracts and Papers in Sleep Disorders:
Intermountain Health Care CQI How to:
Health System Change: Know someone who would like to receive HSC Alerts? Signing up is easy! Go to .

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
Course designed to assist students in integrating and synthesizing previous course work in health care/health service administration. This is a capstone course, which will assist students in understanding concepts they will experience in their profession. Current trends and problems in health care/health service administration will be emphasized. A formal paper is required. Previously numbered HA 520. 3 cr.

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor's educational philosophy is based on the belief that there should be an integration of theory and application in graduate professional coursework. In this class the instructor will take the role of a facilitator; posing questions for discussion, creating an environment where the critical analysis of issues and trends in the health care sector can occur, and encouraging students to explore how their decisions as health care leaders will impact upon the organization and delivery of health care services.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. A course designed to assist students in integrating and synthesizing previous coursework in health care/health services administration. This is a capstone course, which will assist students in understanding concepts they will experience in their profession. Current trends and problems in health care/health services administration will be emphasized. A formal research paper on one of the trends or problems will be a central part of this course.
  2. Students will be able to identify/discuss several important contemporary health care/health service administration issues.
  3. Students will be able to analyze an issue, gather information, formulate defensible conclusions, and make recommendations for action.
  4. Students will be able to write a formal research paper in acceptable format, on a contemporary health administration issue.
Class Assessment:

Class Assessment will be based on:

  • In-class writing, discussion assignments, and class participation.
  • A case-study analysis (approximately 5-10 pages)
  • A final research paper on a current health care issue (approximately 10-15 pages).
    • Guidelines for the case-study and final paper will be provided during the course.

Course Specific policies:

Class Week: A Class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday midnight, Central Standard Time, the time zone of the home campus in Parkville, Missouri. Students who anticipate earning an “A” or a “B”in the course will have reviewed the material and posted some of the assignments by midweek, so as to have time to engage in conference room discussions in a meaningful way. Failure to do so is the equivalent of coming to class late. Posting course assignments late in the week will likely have a negative impact on performance and grades.

On-line connections:

Students are expected to have reasonable access to the internet, to the Park on line sites and log in frequently to participate. This is an on line course. If you have difficulty getting on line you will have difficulty with this course. A high speed connection is not required but is helpful in transmitting large files. If your dial up connection is slow expect to spend more time during the week on line. If possible identify a "back up" way to connect on the off chance that your computer "crashes". Failure to log on and participate is the equivalent of missing class and will have a negative impact on your performance and your grade. The excuse "my computer crashed" IS NOT acceptable. Have alternate ways to get on-line. Library, Internet Cafe, Friend etc.

Writing assignments should be completed and successfully delivered to the instructor by the due date, regardless of if it is delivered by email, fax or express mail. Please make prior arrangements before submitting assignments by anything other than posting within the course format or emailing them to the instructor. It is your responsibility to get all assignments to me on time. Late material will be graded down by at least 10%, and may not be accepted if very late.

On-Line Participation

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor or other students. Any emails sent to the instructor should have the course name and number (Health Administration 520) as well as the student's name and the date.

The class conference is for public messages that will benefit the entire class. It is often helpful to compose your messages in a word processing document and then copy it into the appropriate conference thread. Please also note the distinction between posting a response to a particular entry and posting a general entry in the conference thread as assigned.

Students are expected to spend at least five hours per week on course activities. Again, at least half of the time should be spent early in the week. Students should spend at least 200-300 minutes ON LINE in discussions with classmates. The most important issue is the quality of the thinking, communications and the results you achieve not the amount of time spent. The estimated 5 hours is an average. Some students may spend more, others less. Students expecting an "A" in the course will post several times early in the week, before Thursday and actively engage in conversation/debate on the issues throughout the week. Students are expected to post multiple times in ALL discussions each week. Additional postings demonstrating analysis, synthesis and evaluation toward the end of the week ( Thurs.-Sun) are expected.

In as much as online participation is more impersonal than in a traditional class, students should use professional judgment in the temptation to be as critical or caustic as they might be in a face to face setting. The instructor reserves the right to edit student postings that violate conventional online etiquette. If such behaviors reoccur, it may affect the student's grade. If any student is offended by any comment or content made in the open forums or threaded discussions it is their responsibility to express their concerns directly to the person making the comment and work out a solution and if necessary, an apology and to copy the instructor. If you are uncomfortable in direct communication you may contact the instructor privately to mediate any misunderstandings. This is seldom the case but candor and open communication are critical in new experiences and on line communications. Where there is candor there is unavoidable risk. I am confident that any and all misunderstandings can be resolved to the satisfaction of all involved.

Tasteful, non obscene and politically correct humor is encouraged. Humorous stories or anecdotes can often convey a concept or make a point in a way that straightforward conversation cannot. Feel free to interject humor and wit or even appropriate cartoons, with the appropriate references, into your written documents and threaded conversations being sensitive not to inadvertently offend the audiences. Use professional judgement and the "common man" criteria. If the ordinary person on the street is likely to be offended then do not offer the material. Give authors credit whenever it is due. Do not violate any copyrights.

Students are responsible for clicking on the link below and thoroughly reading each Online course policy. If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact your instructor for clarification.

Online Course Policies


In-class writing and discussion assignments and class participation will constitute 24% of your course grade. A maximum total of 24 points (3 points/class-8 classes). You can earn one point per week for posting at least twice before Wednesday engaging in discussions about the topics with classmates. A second point can be earned by posting at least 3 times between Thursday and Sunday engaged in discussions about the topics. A third point will be given for postings demonstrating higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. Engage in discussion. If you don't engage I have little to grade.

There will be a case-study analysis which will constitute 26% of your course grade. A maximum total of 26 points. Guidelines for the case-study analysis will be presented during the course.

The research paper presented in proscribed format will constitute 50% of your course grade, and is expected to be of sufficient length to explore and evaluate the issue. Typically this takes about 15-20 double spaced pages. The grade will include your capacity to explain and defend the quality of your analysis with the instructor and your peers using the Bloom's Taxonomy Criteria. (see document in document sharing). A maximum total of 50 points.

These three areas will comprise a maximum total of 100 points and will be converted to letter grades as described below.

The criteria for evaluating critical thinking demonstrated in your discussions, papers, your final exam and your class participation in threaded discussions will be based on Bloom's Taxonomy: That taxonomy is detailed below: Knowing and understanding this taxonomy is critical to your performance in the class. If you have any questions post them in the threaded discussions or contact the instructor.

Format requirements for the paper: Include:
         1) a cover page with Your name and your name on every page, 
         2) The course title and date, 
         3) Use APA style for references or imbed "hot links" in your paper, If you do not properly reference your work you 
             will lose grade points. The author and date should be insertedinto the text next to the sentence or paragraph you 
             are referencing (e.g. Coile, 1990). Your list of references at the end of the aper should correspond to the 
             reference in the text (e.g. Coile,R. 1990.The New Medicine: Reshaping medical practice and Healthcare 
             Management. Rockville, MD: Aspen Publishers, Inc.
         4) Know the Park standards for plagiarism..follow them. If you do not use quotation marks and a reference for 
             other author's work this is plagiarism. DON'T DO IT. KNOW THE RULES
         5) Use MS Word or Rich Text format (do not save/send as a Wordperfect file, wpd), 
         6) Save your paper using this style for the file name: lastnamefirstname_coursetitle_Finalpaper
         7) Use 12 point type any readable font, 
         8) Use 1.5 or double space, not single space.

Final papers should follow the guidelines that will be presented during the course.

All final exams will be comprehensive and will be closed book and closed notes.  If calculators are allowed, they will not be multifunctional electronic devices that include features such as: phones, cameras, instant messaging, pagers, and so forth.  Electronic Computers will not be allowed on final exams unless an exception is made by the Associate Dean.

The Proctored final exam for online courses must be passed with a grade of 60% or higher in order to pass the course regardless of the overall average.  The grade for students who pass the proctored final will be based on the overall average of homework and tests taken during the course.  The proctored final exam must address only material which the student has been taught in class.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Submission of Late Work: Work that is late will be graded down at least five points for each day it is late. Work that is submitted more than week from the due date will not be accepted.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Ground Rules for Online Communication & Participation

  • General email: Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. When sending email other than assignments, you must identify yourself fully by name and class in all email sent to your instructor and/or other members of our class.
  • Online threaded discussions: are public messages and all writings in this area will be viewable by the entire class or assigned group members.
  • Online Instructor Response Policy:  Online Instructors will check email frequently and will respond to course-related questions within 24-48 hours.
  • Observation of "Netiquette": All your Online communications need to be composed with fairness, honesty and tact.  Spelling and grammar are very important in an Online course.  What you put into an Online course reflects on your level of professionalism.  Here are a couple of Online references that discuss writing Online and netiquette
  • Please check the Announcements area before you ask general course "housekeeping" questions (i.e. how do I submit assignment 3?).  If you don't see your question there, then please contact your instructor. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
As a capstone/seminar class, there will not be specific topic areas to be covered. Each week we will review and discuss pertinent trends and issues in the health care sector that are selected by the instructor and those that are submitted by the students during our weekly discussions. We will also follow the general schedule outlined below with regard to discussions and developing the research paper. Due dates for assignments are as follows:
. Case Study Analysis is due on September 14th no later than 5 p.m.
. Final Research Paper is due on October 5th no later than 5 p.m.

Class Outline:
Class I: Introduction and Review of Health Care Trends
Class 2: Analyzing Health Care Trends
Class 3: Defining Relevant Health Care Issues
Class 4: Framing the Research Question
Class 5: Evaluating the Pros and Cons of the Research Issue
Class 6: Supporting Your Research and Developing Conclusions
Class 7: Research Paper Due
Class 8: Reflections and Discussion of Research Papers

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct. Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences in excess of four (4) class periods, in a 16-week semester (or 2, in an 8-week term) will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Dean, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified by mail that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 27
An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term.  PLEASE NOTE:  Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation.  Participation grades will be assigned by each individual instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:2/15/2007 12:36:38 PM